Heartache is a pain. Ha, ha… but seriously,
after writing this month’s special report on health and wellness
(page 20) and February being American Heart Month, I felt heart health
needed some love. Beverages such as Tropicana Healthy Heart with Omega-3s
and Mars’ Cocoa Via Rich Chocolate Indulgence target a growing heart
healthy product niche. EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in Tropicana Healthy
Heart may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to studies,
and Cocoa Via Rich Chocolate Indulgence is formulated to reduce bad
cholesterol, Mars says.
Why are these beverages attractive to me? I have
high cholesterol like many members of my family and more than 105 million
adults (as estimated in 2004 in adults older than 20 with more than
200mg./dL, by the American Heart Association).
But these beverages are still very different. Consider
“Today Show” reporter Janice Lieberman’s three questions
to ask regarding functional beverages — Should you be eating or
drinking it in the first place? Are the claims meaningful? Do you really
need this additive? Tropicana Healthy Heart makes sense for me because
orange juice is typically a beverage I would consume, and a heart healthy
formulation would contain additives beneficial to my body.
But the question I have to ask myself is if I need to
be consuming a chocolate drink in the first place? After writing about
chocolate in Candy Industry magazine for more than two years, I would say,
“YES!” I need chocolate. Cocoa Via Rich Chocolate Indulgence is
just what its name says, an “indulgence.” The key for consumers
is to treat this beverage as a treat or snack in their diets that will
replace some other calories consumed in a day.
Consumers trust companies
like Tropicana and Mars to provide what the packaging claims it will. They
just need to understand that these products aren’t miracle workers to
solve their health problems, but are tasty, healthful choices to be
included in moderation. Love may stink, but heart-healthy beverages
don’t have to.
Quite a can
Pepsi offered a contest to win a one-of-a-kind Super
Bowl-inspired can estimated to be worth $100,000. The can was made from
sterling silver inlaid with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The company
sponsored a contest for consumers to win the commemorative Pepsi Super Bowl
can and two tickets to the Super Bowl for life. The special can, inspired
by Super Bowl rings, marks the launch of the company’s restyled
Australian for ‘blonde’
Australian beer-maker Bluetongue Brewery enlisted the
help of an heiress for the launch of its Bondi Blonde beer. Paris Hilton,
the celebrity heir to the Hilton hotel chain, made several appearances in
Sydney, Australia, over the New Year period to promote the new brew. Named
after a famous beach in Sydney, the blonde ale promoted by the blonde star
generated much media coverage.
A fresh take
Airforce Nutrisoda launched the Fresh Air Tour, which
will tour college campuses spreading music and social activism. In addition
to concerts by headlining band Catchpenny, the tour will promote a healthy
planet by planting trees and offer samples of Nutrisoda’s beverages.
The Fresh Air Tour kicks off this month at the University of Chicago and
continue through April.
Thirsty for experience?
Rock ’n roll icon
Jimi Hendrix will soon be available in liquid form. With a planned launch
in April, Beverage Concepts LLC, Los Angeles, and Authentic Hendrix
announced Liquid Experience, which it says is the only official beverage
line to carry the exclusive rights to the Jimi Hendrix name and image.
Liquid Experience will be a complete line of specialty drinks packaged in
screw-top aluminum bottles and initially available at Experience Music
Project’s Jimi Hendrix exhibit in Seattle. The beverage will roll out later in the year through a traveling Jimi Hendrix
museum called the Red House Tour.
Beer lovers choice
Beer lovers have spoken
and their choice in Samuel Adams’ annual craft beer contest is Honey
Porter. The porter faced off against Smoked Lager in Samuel Adams’
2006 Beer Lover’s Choice contest. Honey Porter was chosen by more
than 14,000 beer enthusiasts at nearly 800 tasting events across the
country last year. The company describes the beer as a full-flavored,
full-bodied English porter made with Scottish heather honey for a roasted
malt character and smooth finish. Samuel Adams’ Honey Porter is now
available in the Brewmaster’s Collection alongside four other
offerings in six- and 12-packs.
John Meisler, vice president sales training and brand
education for Beam Global Spirits & Wine, was inducted into a Scotch
whisky society. The exclusive Keepers of the Quaich, which is the ancient
Gaelic term for the drinking bowl associated with the beverage, is an
invitation-only society promoting Scotch whisky and honoring contributions
to the industry. Meisler was one of 48 new Keepers welcomed to the society
at the historic Blair Castle in Highland Perthshire, Scotland. He has more
than 25 years of experience and numerous education and brand ambassador
appearances in media, trade and at universities.